Bloomed darkly

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I thought I would drop this here because I mentioned in another photo that I had lots of Galerina marginata in the yard and they make such great subjects (but not great snacks). This is an older one that has lots its youthful glow and is starting to dry out. I loved how its fruiting on this stump and out into space. Others around it were much less daring. LOL.

Specific Feedback

Too moody? I don’t often go so dark with mushrooms or many macros, but I like it here. Stack look ok?

Technical Details

Tripod - focus bracketing using 0/+ and 4 step, two sessions of 19, but only needed one


Lr for the initial processing of 19 shots - denoise AI, only raised whites and highlights somewhat, added texture, vibrance & saturation, also some sharpening. Adjusted wb. Sync to all photos and sent to Zerene. DMap w/some PMax detail. Massaged resulting TIF in Lr using masking to bring out texture & color separation in the cap and reduce light bits around and behind. Kind of a lot of work, but I like it.

1 Like

So do I!! It is very interesting, even aside from the “pose”, the lighting on it is wonderful, the stacking looks perfect, wonderful colors. I love the dark BG, and it feels so right with the colors in the mushroom and moss. My only thought is a slight crop from the bottom but certainly not necessary. Is the piece of moss almost touching it desirable or not? (I have no idea, but it caught my eye.)

Too moody? No way; it’s a moody mushroom for sure. I would remove that piece of moss Diane mentioned (and, to be curmudgeonly, that small hair about 1/4 along the edge) - but it’s a great fungus, especially that cream caramel crown. A winner!

You are the mushroom lady, Kris. That is meant to be a compliment. I think this is one of your better ones, but who knows, they seem to all be good and one up at the time. Probably because I am looking at this one at the time. I really am enjoying how the mushroom is growing outward and then up. Nature is amazing. For me, I don’t think I would change a thing.

I love the dark background of this image and the way the mushroom glows, Kris. The moss makes a good supporting character because it provides a great sense of scale for anyone familiar with it (and mosses are pretty cosmopolitan).

Thanks @Mike_Friel, @Diane_Miller, @Shirley_Freeman & @Dennis_Plank - glad that the darker side of the forest floor is still a good thing. I tried hard to get the light just right on this little thing and to emphasize it in processing. Maybe I’ve learned a thing or two over the years.

Ah, that little fiber - I wondered if anyone would talk about that. Definitely a division bell for this kind of thing - lots of people on both sides. I like it so that’s why it’s in there. Mushrooms collect all kinds of things during their fruiting cycle. I hadn’t thought about it resembling cream caramel, but now you mention it, I’m reminded of creme brûlée.

Kris: After perusing this a bit and reading the other comments I’ve come to the conclusion that I pretty much like it as presented. The fiber is a non-issue for me and the moss provides context. If it was touching the cap I might feel differently but there is enough separation for me. Nice find and a superb capture. >=))>

Thanks @Bill_Fach - I like the context of the small bits as well. Mushrooms are quite messy organisms and so shots that are too pristine can look suspiciously like illustrations and not photographs.

1 Like

A very nice one, and I am a bit scared by the fact that you needed 19 different shots for the stack… Might not be my cup of tea. But I love the result. Certainly not too dark, the main subject really stands out this way.
No problem with the fiber.

Thanks @Han_Schutten - 19 images is a bit on the high side for me, but it’s not the most images I’ve used. Of course it’s also dependent on what kind of lens you’re using and the subject you’re shooting. I use Zerene Stacker and it handles many, many times this number of shots, but I’ve rarely gone over 20 or 30. Most of the time it’s a dozen or so.

What I find really enjoyable is
(1) the color separations you achieved on the cap and stem
(2) the importance of the negative space
(3) the left right flow; if the image were flipped horizontally, it would feel like the mushroom is taking off, rather than being anchored.

Thanks @Dick_Knudson - glad you like the work I did on the cap. I thought that was a key point of interest in this little 'shroom. I hadn’t considered flipping this, but I see what you mean; it would change the character.